Ya shaykh Please i need ur advice.
My family is Christian. (American) my mother past away a week ago and just 2 days later I gave birth. It was such an emotional time for me . I was blessed with my third son and my husband told me I could decide on the name . I decided I want to name him Muhammad and we completed the paper work . Now my dad and maternal grandfather r lecturing me how I should not name him Muhammad and that I would be putting him at a disadvantage and that he needs an Americanized name living in America. At first I wasn’t going to let them phase my decision but now my dad is saying if I don’t change the name then my inheritance from him will be significantly affected bc he’s working on his estate and that I need to let him know my decision by this weekend. He also proceeded to say that me and my husband need life insurance and that he’ll pay for my husbands. I want my son to have the name Muhammad but now after my dad is threatening that my inheritance will be effected if I don’t obey him by changing his name I don’t know what I should do should I keep his name Muhammad or change it to obey my father so that I don’t jeopardize me and my family financially since my dad is apparently going to take me off his estate if I don’t comply. Pls advise
Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
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Maintaining an Islamic identity is of utmost importance. We are first Muslims, before have any other identity.
By keeping an Islamic name, we are easily identified as Muslims, whether in this world, or in the hereafter. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said,
“إنكم تدعون يوم القيامة بأسمائكم وأسماء آبائكم فأحسنوا أسماءكم” (اخرجه ابو داود في سننه)
“Indeed you will be called on the day of Qiyaamah by your names and the names of your fathers, so give good names to yourselves”. (Narrated by Imam Abu Dawood)
Whilst your respected father has expressed his concerns, there are many Muslims in America with the name Muhammad, and they are not facing major disadvantages. Yes, to a certain degree, there may be a few challenges, but that is our test. We will always be tested on our loyalty to the command of Allah.
Today your father is pressurizing you to change your sons Islamic name; tomorrow when your son grows up, will he be deprived of following the Sunnah, just so that he is not ‘disadvantaged’? To what extent will he be forced to distance himself from Islam, just so that he may integrate in a non Muslim society? Rather shut this door from now, and be firm that your child will be a proud Muslim, and flag bearer of Islam.
Furthermore, according to the Islamic laws of inheritance, a person cannot deprive his legal heir. Even if you father has to record that he intends barring you from inheritance, you will still be entitled to your share. Allah Ta’ala is the provider, and Allah Ta’ala will take car of you and your family, if you remain loyal to Him.
And Allaah Ta’aala knows best
Ismail Moosa (Mufti)
This answer was collected from Fatwaa.com which is an excellent Q&A site managed by Mufti Ismail Moosa from South Africa. .